SDLP annual conference – going into opposition.
There were other themes, for instance closer co-operation with British Labour and the in the Republic, but opposition was the one which caught the headlines.
The problem is that it wasn't in the leader's speech. Last year Dr Alasdair McDonnell's speech made headlines for the wrong reasons. Through no fault of own, he was dazzled by lights reflecting off his autocue.This year the problem was journalists struggled for 'a line', or central message to report.
The idea that the SDLP would be a watchdog within the Executive was one that most came with, but it wasn't echoed by several party leaders.
"The watchdog should be let off the leash" countered MLA Mark H Durkan, echoing calls by Dolores Kelly, the deputy leader, that the party should start considering withdrawing from the Executive altogether.
this DUP/Sinn Féin Executive," Ms Kelly declared.
"We might lose a few jobs by leaving Government – but we could lose our soul if we go on in this Executive indefinitely."
"She got a lot of support. Inunscripted speech Alex Atwood, the SDLP's sole minister, commended the Belfast Telegraph for reporting that he too wanted a dialogue on opposition.
Ex-leader Margaret Ritchie told me: "Opposition is something that we need to consider. "I am not saying that we walk out of government straight but, as Alex said this morning, we need it as a potential option," she added.
By yesterday (Sun, Nov 11), Dr McDonnell, who had dismissed the idea, saying the party would consider it. Our survey shows these are ideas which resonate with activists.